Ducati And Aprilia Launch A New Era In MotoGP And Lucio Cecchinello Knows Why
For LCR team boss it is clear that MotoGP has entered a new era with the arrival of Aprilia at the top of the field. For the Italian, however, the change comes as a surprise.
For some time now, things have not gone according to plan for the Japanese manufacturers in MotoGP. With Francesco Bagnaia, a non-Japanese manufacturer has now won the MotoGP riders’ title for the first time since 2007.
Francesco Bagnaia after winning the 2022 Riders’ Championship at Valencia – Image provided by Motorsport Images
Honda has been in free fall since 2019, and Yamaha’s future looks similarly dramatic. But how did the drastic change come about? Lucio Checchinello knows the answer.
The Italian told GPOne.com: “The Italian manufacturers [Ducati and Aprilia] have started a new era in MotoGP.”
Aprilia has never been more competitive than in the past season, while Ducati has become the best bike in the field in recent years.
Ducati innovation leader Gigi Dall’Igna has played a big part. A large part of the creative solutions come from Ducati. The rivals have adopted many of the sometimes drastic innovations in recent years.
The rapid change surprised Lucio Cecchinello: “I honestly didn’t expect that. Ducati, Dall’Igna and all those involved were clever enough to think outside the box.”
The Italian sees Ducati’s biggest advantage in its cooperation with Audi. The LCR team boss notices a similar development at Aprilia.
“This allowed them to adopt many innovative technologies. Aprilia did the same thing by hiring Massimo Rivola, who applied ideas from Formula 1 to MotoGP.”
KTM can also look forward to closer collaboration with Formula 1 engineers this winter. Massive developments in the field of aerodynamics have already been announced by the Austrians.
Things are completely different with the Japanese manufacturers. Development seems to take much longer, almost sluggish.
“The Japanese are very systematic in their approach. It takes longer to make a change,” confirms Lucio Cecchinello, who has been working with Honda for many years.
Since Marc Marquez’s sensational season in 2019, hardly anything has been going right for the long-successful Japanese. Even Honda expert Marquez has not been able to conceal the big performance gaps of his bike.
For Cecchinello, the Corona pandemic also plays a role. “Marc [Marquez’] absence and the pandemic have plunged Honda into a crisis,” notes LCR team boss Lucio Cecchinello.
The Italian sees a lot of potential for improvement for Honda in the new season. Cecchinello remains optimistic. “Honda is capable of doing anything.”